Sports are fun, though winter sports are much better. We all like winter sports, particularly if we have mountains nearby and if we have ski resorts. Winter sports make winter much more interesting. 

But, some sports you don’t really get to try or see until you open up YouTube and actually search for the sport manually. That can be a solid problem and we need to solve it immediately.

There is a sport called half-pipe skiing which you should know about. Here is everything that you should know about it.

Early History

We have to start with some history, it’s the way things work. During the early days of snowboarding, ski resorts didn’t want to let snowboarders do their thing and they were typically banned. Lake Tahoe locals, Mark Anolik and Bob Klien were hiking around the resort, looking for somewhere to snowboard. They found a natural halfpipe in 1979, on land which was owned by the Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Company.

Not long after, news of the half-pipe spread and everyone from snowboarders to skateboarders started visiting the location.

The first competitive half pipe was constructed around 1983, in Soda Springs, California, but they had trouble making it safe.

The World Championship, now a new event, moved to Breckenridge, Colorado in 1986, where there was once again trouble building the half pipe, given most employees had never seen or heard of one. It was constructed and remained a permanent part of the resort. 

While primarily meant for snowboarders, it was not long after that skiers also started using the half-pipe.

Half-Pipe Skiing, a Professional Event

Due to safety concerns with the sport, it took a long time for it to be recognized by the International Ski Federation, which did eventually happen, in 2010. It was also approved by the IOT a year later and scheduled to become an Olympic sport at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The sport is inherently dangerous and people have died practicing it. Due to the improved gear and safety, ironically, the sport became more dangerous. With more aerodynamic gear, skiers could fly higher and spin faster.

Tsutomu Takasu, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Is it a Good Sport?

For anyone watching, half-pipe skiing is amazing. It’s a great sport that requires lots of practice and coordination and like any extreme sport, it is amazing to watch. From the perspective of the athlete, like most extreme sports, they don’t pay nearly as much as the risk they pose. Most athletes, while they care about this, don’t stop practicing, as most professionals are very passionate about their respective extreme sports, including half-pipe skiers.

Half-pipe skiing is a great Olympic sport that is one of those hard-to-practice-and-master extreme sports that you get sweaty palms from. Look to the next skiing championship or Winter Olympics to watch it in action.